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Application of Xanthan Gum in Special Food Processing

Xanthan gum is the combination of thickening, suspension, emulsification and stabilization, which is the most superior biological glue globally. The conformation in the aqueous solution is diverse and shows different characteristics under different conditions. Xanthan gum food additives can be used in foods such as bread, ice cream, dairy products, meat products, jams, jellies, and beverages.

1. The influence of xanthan gum food additives on the quality of noodles

(1) The formation of gluten by xanthan gum tends to firstly strengthen and then weaken, and the influence on water holding capacity will affect other indexes of gluten.

(2) Xanthan gum food additive has a good effect on improving the silty properties while there is a weakening effect on the tensile properties.

(3) Xanthan gum food additive has little influence on the expansion potential of starch, and regularly decreases the initial gelatinization temperature of flour. The peak viscosity is the largest when the amount of colloid is 0.2.

(4) Xanthan gum food additive has a very good improvement for cooking characteristics. And cooking characteristics of various indicators will decrease with the increase of colloid proportion.

(5) The colloid increases the hardness, adhesiveness and chewiness of the texture of noodles, and the adhesiveness and elasticity, and the cohesiveness and recovery are lower than that of the blank.

2. Improvement of beef quality by xanthan gum food additives

Xanthan gum improves the water retention of beef mainly based on two aspects. One is that xanthan gum itself is a hydrocolloid, which can increase the water retention capacity of muscles by penetrating into beef tissue. The other is that the water retention of meat can be shown by the gelatinous structure of the protein and the electrostatic effect, in which the myosin in the muscle structure protein plays a decisive role in its water retention.

The pH value is an important parameter to measure the quality of beef. It not only affects the palatability, tenderness, cooking loss and shelf time of beef but also has a significant correlation with the water holding capacity, meat color and flavor of beef. When the pH of muscle is close to its protein isoelectric point (5.0-5.5), the mechanical strength of the meat is the highest with poor tenderness and low water holding capacity. In general, production requires that the pH of meat deviates from its isoelectric point. Soaking beef with xanthan gum solution can increase the pH of muscles. Therefore, xanthan gum will improve the water holding capacity and texture quality of beef.

The maximum shear force of beef reflects the tenderness of beef. The smaller the shear force, the better the meat tenderness. Therefore, 0.5% xanthan gum infusion can improve the meat tenderness of beef. The reason may be as following: Xanthan gum can chelate Ca2+, which may promote the transfer of Ca2+ from muscle cells into sarcoplasm. In this way, calcium-activating enzymes in the sarcoplasm can be activated to promote the hydrolysis of muscle proteins, which causes the Z-line in the muscle fiber structure to disintegrate until it disappears. Besides, it will rupture the sarcomeres and make the myofibrils into small pieces, thereby tenderizing the muscles.

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